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sorting photos

20 Sep

sorting photos

long ago, it seems so long ago
all faded now to harvest gold and avocado green
glossy rectangles and squares declare it so

stiff sepia grooms and lacy brides that glow
coiled hair, dark lips, like 20’s starlets from the screen
long ago, it seems so long ago

hosts of people I don’t even know
so many lively smiles, eyes bright with hopeful sheen
glossy rectangles and squares declare it so

Saskatchewan toddler dressed like Eskimo
swaddled in mitts and scarves against the wind so keen
long ago, it seems so long ago

see how Mom made her prairie garden grow
thick marigold, begonia, phlox and climbing bean
glossy rectangles and squares declare it so

we gather with our cousins row on row
even then faces of our adult selves are seen
long ago, it seems so long ago
these glossy rectangles and squares declare it so

© 2012 by Violet Nesdoly

*****************
The Miss Rumphius Effect blog poetry stretch this Monday was to write a poem inspired by a photograph. It reminded me of the poem that I wrote a couple of summers ago, while I was sorting through my Mom’s stash of photos. (I was honored and delighted when “sorting photos” won first prize in the Canadian Stories 2012 Summer Contest this year, and was published the summer edition of the magazine.)

I also wrote a new poem for Trish’s prompt (not yet ready for prime time), as I find photos a never-ending source of inspiration.

This post is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by the lovely, witty, and multi-talented Renee M. LaTulippe at No Water River.

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20 responses to “sorting photos

  1. Linda Baie (@LBaie)

    September 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    They are inspiring, and I’ll look for your next poem too, Violet. This is beautiful, with such a nostalgic rhythm, the refrain, “these glossy rectangles and squares declare it so.” Congratulations on the contest win and publishing.

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    • vnesdoly

      September 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Aw, thanks Linda. Old photos always transport me to another time and place.

      Like

       
  2. Joyce Ray

    September 21, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Violet, your poem is wonderfully nostalgic. I love

    “stiff sepia grooms and lacy brides that glow
    coiled hair, dark lips, like 20’s starlets from the screen”

    Old photographs also inspire me. In addition to being windows into other lives, they are passageways to dormant thoughts and ideas. I have yet to try a villanelle, but your poem makes me want to try.

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    • vnesdoly

      September 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Joyce, villanelles aren’t that difficult. The trick is to compose the repeating lines so they can multitask.

      Like

       
  3. Andromeda Jazmon

    September 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Well Done Violet! Congratulations on the recognition. Your poem really portrays the feeling and tenderness of the photos. I enjoyed trying this challenge from Trisha too. I look forward to reading more of your poems!

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    • vnesdoly

      September 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks Andi! Trish’s challenges are always fun, and often stretching. I often use them to get my subconscious working on a poem- even though I don’t often post them in her comments.

      Like

       
  4. mattforrest

    September 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Felt like I was there, with you showing me the photos yourself…really nice job, Violet. I love the colour references!

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    • vnesdoly

      September 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks, Matt! I was also with you earlier this evening, gazing at the stars 🙂

      Like

       
  5. Tabatha

    September 22, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Congratulations on your poetry prize! I’m not surprised that it won 🙂

    Like

     
    • vnesdoly

      September 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you, Tabatha. I actually was (surprised that it won… one enters contest after contest with no results, so first place is a wonderful surprise!)

      Like

       
  6. Iza Trapani

    September 22, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Ah harvest gold and avocado green- I remember them well 🙂 Violet, your poem is magnificent, nostalgic and beautiful (and not an easy poetic form). I am not surprised you won first prize!

    Like

     
    • vnesdoly

      September 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you so much, Iza. if you remember harvest gold and avocado green, you are of a certain vintage…. as am I!

      Like

       
  7. haitiruth

    September 22, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I love this! Thanks for sharing it.

    Like

     
  8. Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    September 22, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Congrats on the well-deserved win, Violet. This is just beautiful and nostalgic and full of images — and a villanelle to boot! Color me impressed. 🙂

    Like

     
    • vnesdoly

      September 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      I was impressed with your poemlets, Renee! Especially the one-worder challenge instigated by that Pat Lewis in cahoots with the Harrison fellow. My notebook is seriously jealous (it wants to own stuff like that too!)

      Like

       
  9. Robyn Hood Black

    September 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Wow, Violet – this SHOULD have won first prize, so I’m happy to hear it did! Congratulations. I love villanelles, and this one is just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. Perfect refrain in “long ago, it seems so long ago.”

    Like

     
    • vnesdoly

      September 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks so much, Robyn! A vlllanelle’s repetition seems suits nostalgia somehow. You think?

      Like

       
  10. Doraine Bennett

    September 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Lovely!

    Like

     

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